Welcome to a whole new year! If the January line up is any indication, 2012 is sure to be jam-packed and fun-filled with exciting events in the Denver cultural scene. I’ve checked in with my sources, made notes in my calendar and I’m ready to share the world with you.
Theatrically speaking, the Denver Center revs up with two world premieres and a classic with a modern twist. Samuel D. Hunter’s much-anticipated play, THE WHALE, is a touching tale of estrangement and longed for re-connection as the dangerously obese Charlie tries to come to grips with his past and right his future. (Jan 13- Feb 19).
Lisa Loomer brings her outrageously courageous, TWO THINGS YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT AT DINNER, to the Space Theatre the following week. Set at the Passover table of an upscale Brentwood family, matriarch Myriam has gathered a multi-culti mix of friends and family to join the Seder. Conversation inevitably turns to politics, religion and dolphins, hysterically straining the ties that bind. Ms. Loomer has a gift for skewering modern beliefs with her keen insight and razor wit in this social satire. (Jan 20-Feb 19).
Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes heats up with THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Director Kent Thompson sets this story smack in the middle of the Eisenhower era. This war of wit and woo should be as tasty as anything Betty Crocker whipped up. (Jan 27- Feb 26)
Musical lovers may be rooting for BRING IT ON at the Buell, which sounds good on paper. “One of the most remarkable scores in years uniting breathtaking dance and the thrilling, cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading.” Me? I’ve been there, done that. (Jan 10-21)
Curious Theatre Company opens the year with a smart move. Pairing the insightfully gifted director, Christy Montour Larson (Ovation Award Nominee for 2011 Theatre Person of the Year) with the regional premiere of playwright Bill Cain’s provocative 9 CIRCLES, should be a slice of theatrical heaven. This riveting journey takes us through the war-torn mind of an American soldier on trial for the atrocities of his tour in Iraq. The nine scenes of the play mirror the descent into Dante’s hell, but the steps the young soldier takes are those of our modern day sons and daughters. Cast includes Michael McNeill, Erik Sandvold, Sean Scrutchins and Karen Slack. (Jan 14-Feb 18)
If you’re in the mood for something more soothing, mark your calendars for Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s global valentine, LOVE IN THE DIGITAL AGE. Ballet Nouveau consistently provides more ooos and ahhhs per production than any other Denver dance troupe with their innovative choreography and artistic pas de duex. Artistic Director, Garrett Ammon, is known for his collaboration with other artists and medium but this time his partner is the world. (Feb 3-5 @ Lakewood Cultural Arts Center, Feb 10-12 @ the PNC Hall.) Modern Ballet at its feistiest!!!!!
My razzle-Dazzle pal, James Bailey, chimes in here with his favorite picks on the music score:
Denver’s premiere jazz club, Dazzle, has booked the incredible ROBERTA GAMBORINI for 4 nights – 2 shows each night, January 5-8. That’s eight chances to hear one of the world’s best (and few in the world sing better scat). I believe James when he says “Just go!!”
And for you “oudies”, Swallow Hill Music presents an evening of traditional and original oud music by the master RAHIM AL HAJ. Contrary to popular belief, it is the oud, not the iPod, which marks one of the greatest inventions of civilization…
On Thursday, January 12th, a rare performance of the Messian “Quartet for the End of Time” will be presented through the Denver Eclectic Concerts series. One of the greatest compositions of the 20th Century… just sayin.
Visual arts are hanging in there. Good to see are shows and exhibitions at the KNOLL GALLERY where 18 fine artists interpret Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, now through Feb 4th.
And if you haven’t taken in the Clyfford Still… why not?
Photo of Clyfford Still Museum by Clint Viebrock